|Team||Sauber F1 Team|
Sauber F1 Team
The country of Switzerland is hardly the most likely place in which to base a Formula One™ team. In fact since 1955, and despite various efforts to overturn the legislation, motor racing is actually legally banned in the country. Yet despite that and against all odds Peter Sauber created and has run one of the sport’s most enduring teams.
Sauber created his Formula One team™ in 1993, after more than a decade of success in sports car racing including victory at the Le Mans 24-Hours and back-to-back titles in the FIA World Sports Car Championship in partnership with Mercedes.
Sauber has had an ability to recognise and develop young talent. During his sports car racing days, Sauber identified Michael Schumacher as a star of the future while he recruited ‘young guns’ including Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel.
During the seasons 2006 to 2010 the team acquired “factory” status, as the Formula One™ operation of BMW, winning their first Grand Prix with Robert Kubica in Canada in 2008. Upon the Bavarian manufacturers’ withdrawal from the sport, Sauber bought back the company and it has since reverted to competing proudly as an independent outfit, with Ferrari engines.
Recent seasons have seen a steady improvement in results. In 2012, Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi scored podium finishes in Malaysia, Canada, Italy and Japan. While in 2013, impressive development in the second-half of the season and some fine drives by Nico Hulkenberg saw the team score 50 of its 57 season points in the last eight rounds.
Unfortunately, 2014 didn’t go so well, with Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil failing to score a single point for the first time in the history. With smaller teams such as Sauber struggling to stay afloat, the team chose to change their driver line-up, bringing in Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, both of whom brought with them significant funding from sponsors.
They’ve also ditched their white and grey livery in favour of the yellow and blue of Banco do Brasil who are a new backer. With two inexperienced drivers, the Swiss team face an uphill task in 2015.